Kammavaca Burmese Antique Gilded Buddhist Manuscript


SKU: TB-050 Category:


Teak wood covers bevelled around the edges, set of 16 inner pages stiffened cloth lacquered and gilded with tamarind seed lacquer text, degradation of gild due to use and age. A Burmese Kammavaca Pali Prayer Manuscript referred to also as kammawa-sa in Myanmar consists of text relating to the formal monastic acts, rules and ceremonies prescribed in the Vinaya, (one of the ‘three baskets’ of the Tipitaka), that establish the codes of conduct for monks living in monasteries. This one consists of sixteen inner pages made from stiffened cloth and a teak wood cover at each end, all thickly coated with red lacquer, then gilded and the text painted on with tamarind seed lacquer. The outside cover and inside cover is illustrated with scrolling foliage and mythical figures from the world of Nats and Devas. The substrate for the leaves of the manuscript are layers of cloth folded and stiffened with numerous coats of lacquer, but still flexible. It is resistant to water, heat, insects and bacteria. A red colouring agent, cinnabar (mercuric sulphide), ochre or paint, turns it vermilion. Although lacquer was used much earlier, making lacquer objects did not become a full-blown decorative art until the Ava period (AD 1287-1752). The art of lacquer, however, did not reach its zenith until the Kon-baung period (AD 1752-1885).

Additional information


3 x 10 x 54.5 cm